For immediate release | Friday, September 25, 2015

Microsoft Corp. & Facebook to Lead Tech Discussion at Global Youth Summit Against Violent Extremism

Press Contact:

Media at CEP

Counter Extremism Project to Co-Host Event Featuring Youth Activists from Around the World on September 28 in New York City

(New York, NY)The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) announced today that the leading platform and productivity company Microsoft Corp. and the global social networking giant Facebook will be featured presenters at the Global Youth Summit Against Violent Extremism.

The Summit, supported by the U.S. Department of State, and co-hosted by Search for Common Ground, will include participation from more than 100 youth activists and government officials from dozens of countries, including Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Kenya, Nigeria, and Pakistan. The event, to be held September 28 at the Roosevelt Hotel beginning at 9am, will also feature remarks by senior U.S. government officials.

The Microsoft Corp. and Facebook presentations, which are open to the press, are designed to engage participants in discussions around two important themes; recognizing how improving employment prospects can help vulnerable youth resist extremist recruitment; and how technology can be used to support community-based efforts to counter radicalization.

Microsoft Corp.’s session will feature the company’s youth employability platform, which is revolutionizing learning and job placement through technology. The networking platform connects youth with employers, universities, community centers, NGOs and other stakeholders to provide career guidance, training, entrepreneurship development and job information. To date, the platform has reached 13 million youth in more than 12 countries. “Microsoft Corp.’s solution is not only to provide access to job opportunities to interested youth, but to define pathways through which to equip them with the necessary skills, including soft skills, to land and hold onto these jobs," said Jeffrey Avina, Director of Citizenship and Community Affairs, Middle East and Africa at Microsoft Corp.

Facebook’s presentation will focus on best practices and leveraging technology to strengthen local countering violent extremism programs.

It is in response to the growing radicalization of young people, that the Global Youth Summit Against Violent Extremism will highlight new ideas and best practices for building resilience in communities around the world. Rather than solely attacking the problems of radicalization from the top down, the summit will be an opportunity for young people to engage their peers in the development of locally-sourced answers that address this critical societal challenge. The event will also mark the launch of a sustained global, grassroots effort – spearheaded by young people all over the world  to build resilience against extremism.

Discussions, breakout sessions, and panels will be held onsite throughout the day. State Department-sponsored grants will be awarded to individuals and groups whose ideas and initiatives are judged promising or ready to scale. The participants will discuss and address issues, including community-based counter messaging and dissemination to highlight tolerance, pluralism, and social cohesion; and education-based approaches to preventing extremism.

Participants throughout the Summit will be producing strong, action oriented ideas, and results, with key recommendations being presented at the Leaders’ Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism that President Obama will convene at the UN on September 29.

Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world, will also host a breakout session. Freedom House President Mark P. Lagon will lead a discussion on how establishing networks can help to combat extremism.

Since launching one year ago, CEP has fought successfully to expose the financial support networks that enable extremist groups; pressured social media platforms like Twitter to do more to prevent the hijacking of their platforms by extremists to radicalize, recruit, and incite violence; and expanded into Europe to become an international resource for governments, media, NGOs, and the public concerned about extremism.

Members of the press are invited to attend. For more information, please contact [email protected]

A livestream of the summit will be available at http://www.counterextremism.com/content/one95